Patients with Diabetes Should Watch Their Mouths

open mouthNovember is Diabetes Awareness Month and the ADA is taking the initiative in spreading the word on how uncontrolled diabetes can affect individuals’ teeth and gums.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that one of five cases of total tooth loss in the United States is linked to diabetes. While complications are part of managing diabetes, for the nearly 26 million people in the U.S. living with the condition, tooth loss and other dental health problems are unlikely to be on their radar.

Patients with diabetes have a lower resistance to infection. That, along with a longer healing process, makes them more susceptible to developing gum disease and developing a more severe form of the disease.

Looking for a resource to share with patients? Check out which has consumer-friendly information in both English and Spanish on oral health topics, including diabetes.


  • As a dentist near Park Ridge I have mentioned this to my diabetic patients before. Thanks for posting this. Like you said, they have higher risk for infection.

  • Thank you for the post and website to tell our diabetic patients about. We also tell our patients that they are in high risk for infection and they need to be on top of their hygiene when it comes to brushing and flossing.

  • The study authors say there may be several ways to explain the connection between diabetes and tooth loss. One theory is that hyperglycemia—or high blood sugar—disrupts the delivery of nutrients and removal of waste products from the tissue in the gums. What should diabetics do to protect themselves? Apart from brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, some diabetics may need to visit their dentist four times a year for a professional tooth and gum cleaning, says study co-author Jayanth Kumar, DDS, MPH, of the New York State Department of Health’s bureau of dental health.
    Dental Training

  • This is so important to talk to your patient who is a diabetic. They are at a higher risk for infection and also can take longer to heal because they are a diabetic.

  • Hyperglycemia and oral cavity are the worst enemies. Diabetics should take care of their teeth, twice a healthy person do. Also I recommend them to join a dental contract with their local dentist. My dad had diabetes for last 3 years and I rely on our local dentist at Stephen J. Pyle, DDS for all his dental solutions. And I am proud to say he’s flawless teeth. So, a proper dental plan and your diabetes quit against damaging your teeth.

  • Diabetes and teeth problems together are much of a risk. I always ask my patients if they suffering from diabetes before starting their dental treatment.

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